Da‘wa, a concept rooted in the scriptural and classical tradition of Islam, has been dramatically re-appropriated in modern times across the Muslim world. Championed by a variety of actors in diverse contexts, da‘wa –"inviting" to Islam, or Islamic missionary activity – has become central to the vocabulary of contemporary Islamic activism.
Da‘wa and Other Religions explores the modern resurgence of da‘wa through the lens of inter-religious relations and within the two horizons of Islamic history and modernity. Part I provides an account of da‘wa from the Qur’an to the present. It demonstrates the close relationship that has existed between da‘wa and inter-religious relations throughout Islamic history and sheds light on the diversity of da‘wa over time. The book also argues that Muslim communities in colonial and post-colonial India shed light on these themes with particular clarity. Part II, therefore, analyzes and juxtaposes two prominent da‘wa organizations to emerge from the Indian subcontinent in the past century: the Tablīghī Jamā‘at and the Islamic Research Foundation of Zakir Naik. By investigating the formative histories and inter-religious discourses of these movements, Part II elucidates the influential roles Indian Muslims have played in modern da‘wa.
This book makes important contributions to the study of da‘wa in general and to the study of the Tablīghī Jamā‘at, one of the world’s largest da‘wa movements. It also provides the first major scholarly study of Zakir Naik and the Islamic Research Foundation. Further, it challenges common assumptions and enriches our understanding of modern Islam. It will have a broad appeal for students and scholars of Islamic Studies, Indian religious history and anyone interested in da‘wa and inter-religious relations throughout Islamic history.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I – Da‘wa and Other Religions in Scripture and History 1. Da‘wa and Other Religions in the Scriptural Sources of Islam 2. Da‘wa and Other Religions in the Pre-Modern History of Islam 3. Da‘wa and Other Religions in the Modern World Part II – Da‘wa and Other Religions in Modern India: Two Case Studies 4. The Tablīghī Jamā‘at: Background and Context 5. The Formative History and Inter-Religious Concerns of the Tablīghī Jamā‘at 6. Zakir Naik and the Islamic Research Foundation: Background and Context 7. The Formative History and Inter-Religious Concerns of Zakir Naik and the Islamic Research Foundation Conclusion
Matthew J. Kuiper (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Missouri State University. His research and teaching interests include classical and modern Islam, inter-religious relations, and the history of the Indian subcontinent.
Featured Author Profiles
"Matthew Kuiper’s Da‘wa and Other Religions is a groundbreaking study of how Islamic apologetics has developed from its origin through the contemporary period. Kuiper illustrates the scriptural origins for da‘wa and also analyzes recent movements in South Asia – including that of the Tablighi Jama’at and Zakir Naik. His work, which is a model of rigorous scholarship, makes connections with Christian missions but also emphasizes all that is distinctive in Islamic da‘wa." Gabriel Said Reynolds, University of Notre Dame
"Matthew Kuiper’s [book], concentrates on Islamic da‘wa with special reference to the Tabligh Jama’at and Zakir Naik as case studies […] It discusses critically and informatively how these two cases that started out locally and, with the passage of time, developed into international actors. Kuiper’s very readable and smooth flowing [book] deals with the theme of da‘wa in a balanced manner." Muhammad Haron, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
"[The book is] a detailed examination of the history of the concept of da‘wa, or mission, in the history of Islamic thought and an analysis of two modern Indian movements, which have been actively involved in da‘wain the modern period. […] The work is a model of rigorous scholarship. Kuiper focuses on the Tablighi Jama‘at (chapters 4 and 5) and the Islamic Research Foundation (chapters 6 and 7) and illustrates how these movements develop out of the globalization of da‘wa. Kuiper argues convincingly that [these movements] point to the rise of da‘waas an important form of Islamic activism generally, and to the particular place of India in producing distinctive forms of this activism." Anonymous reviewer